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Juniper Berry Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 26, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In a story at once harrowing and touching, Kozlowsky enlivens the narrative with a deft hand, melding imagery that recalls the work of Neil Gaiman, Lemony Snicket, and Hans Christian Andersen...This compelling read promises to draw reluctant and avid readers alike. (ALA Booklist)

The quirky plot (who knew brightly colored balloons could represent such dire consequences?) is nicely accented with a slightly out-of-time feel...Kozlowsky wisely builds toward a rich and complex climax worth these often-splendid characters. (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

About the Author

M. P. Kozlowsky is the author of Juniper Berry. A former schoolteacher, he lives in New York with his wife and two daughters.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Walden Pond Press (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061998699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061998690
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By The Three Woods VINE VOICE on June 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Juniper Berry is a young girl of 11 who lives with her very famous mother and father in a sprawling mansion with extensive grounds. She misses the days when her parents were not famous and were more attentive to her. Lately, they have been acting very strangely towards her - almost animalistic- and Juniper is determined to find out why. Not being allowed to have friends or to speak to anyone other than her tutor (who is more interested in working for famous people than teaching her), Juniper is left to discover everything about her world through books and through the lenses of her various telescopes, spyglasses and binoculars. This has made her a very observant character that can see "truth" through her lenses. One day she meets a young boy, Giles, who has been having the same issues with his parents. Together they discover that a gnarled old tree, a raven, and red balloons are at the center of the mystery. One evening, the two venture out to the old tree to see what mysteries lie inside. The raven who always sits on the branch of the tree shows them how to open it's door to enter. Once inside, Juniper and Giles meet Skeksyl, a ghoulish and sinister man who trades red balloons filled with the answer to your dreams for a "breath." Giles quickly falls prey to his dream of becoming stronger while Juniper fights the temptation to give in to her dream of having her parents back with her by becoming a famous writer for them. Will she give in to the temptation as easily as her friend? Will she ever get her parents back? What exactly does the red balloons do to those who inhale the contents? Who or what is Skeksyl really? You'll have to find out by reading the book.

The story is full of detailed and imaginative beings and scenery.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Subtitled "a tale of terror and temptation", Juniper Berry is a modern day fairy tale. Our heroine is the brave preteen, Juniper Berry. Juniper is the daughter of film actors, who have become very famous over the course of the past few years. The more famous they have become, the more odd they have acted and the more they have distanced themselves from her. She is sad and lonely and would willingly give up everything to have her old life back.

One day she spots a boy about her age, trespassing in her woods. Over the course of conversation with her new friend, she discovers that his parents, too, are famous and distant. Even worse: Giles has seen them doing something very odd in Juniper's woods.

Piecing together the unthinkable, Juniper and Giles set out to save their parents from whatever influence is causing this behavior. What they discover changes them both, and Juniper faces tough choices, terrible temptation, but comes through a true fairy tale heroine.

Juniper Berry is told from an omniscient narrator and occasionally uses words that I feel are probably not in the vocabulary of a 9-12 year old. This happens early in the book, though, and the narration evens out as the story builds. It has a good pace, and the story unfolds smoothly. The characters of Juniper and Giles are particularly appealing, making their weaknesses seem all the more vulnerable and believable. Juniper's parents are truly horrible, and the reader is able to feel Juniper's mix of hurt and confusion, making the redemption of said parents even sweeter.

Like most fairy tales, Juniper Berry has a moral, and it is spelled out very plainly at the end by the wood chopper (yes, there IS a wood chopper, told you this is a fairy tale!
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Format: Hardcover
When I came across this on Goodreads, it became one of those things that just takes over your brain. Or takes over my brain, anyway... Everything from the cover to the title to the fantastic little tag line just called to me. So when I was offered a copy out of the blue, of course I casually said, Oh, thanks but nah.... O_O Or HELLS YEAH. It was one of the two.
And when it came in the mail (so if you went with Choice 1, sorry, you lose), I promptly sat down and made short work of it. And though the beginning was a little rocky for me, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Juniper Berry for me was interesting in that it pleased both my adult side and the 9 year old Misty that was obsessed with creepy books and made her mother worry that she had "unhealthy" reading habits (because apparently to moms, Goosebumps is acceptable only in small doses. A steady diet of it = serial killer, or something. Or, at least that's what meddling neighbors lead moms to believe. Moving on...) Reading it, I got the same impression I had when I read Coraline: that my younger self would have eaten this up. It was just creepy enough, and unflinching in its darker aspects, that it would have delighted me to no end. It had this fantastic dark circus feel, with fairy tale elements in there as well (hence it's inclusion in Fairy Tale Fortnight), but it still remained its own thing. There were certain little unexpected elements that delighted me (kid and adult) and gave it this great visual appeal, and I have always loved a book that makes you see what is going on and leaves you with lasting images. Certain quirky things are always going to pop into my head when I think of this book, and I love that. This is of course aided by the fantastic illustrations.
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